Days Of Blood And Starlight (Daughter Of Smoke And Bone Trilogy book 2) by Laini Taylor (book review).
‘Days Of Blood and Starlight’ is book two of the ‘Daughter Of Smoke And Bone Trilogy’. Laini Taylor has also written a series of books called the ‘Dreamdark’ series, along with multiple other stand-alone novels.
This book continues the story a little while after the first book, ‘Daughter Of Smoke And Bone’, so there are a few little elements the reader is caught up on through the rest of the book. In the previous book, Karou finally discovered who she really was, having thought for the majority of the book that she was a slightly odd human. She knows now that she is in fact a human-like chimera who has a lot to do in her native world of Eretz in order to atone for the dreadful fact of her falling in love with one of the chimera’s sworn enemies. Throughout the book, we watch as both Akiva and Karou come to terms with what happened in the previous book, along with the horror of the war their two peoples are waging and what they could possibly do to stop it and help their dream of peace to come to Eretz. I won’t say anything more about the story as it would contain a great deal of spoilers as so much happens.
This is very peculiar book with animals made from teeth, pain and magic alongside angel soldiers, human puppets and random Monty Python referencing emails. Mostly, it does manage to work due to each character having their own distinct voice. However, I have to say I really didn’t get on with Akiva’s voice which means that throughout the book I always side with Karou and the chimera rather than the angels. I have to admit that I didn’t really get on with the first few chapters as much as I thought I would, after having enjoyed the first book ‘Daughter Of Smoke And Bone’ so much. That was until Karou’s voice appeared. I guess I just wasn’t used to hearing the story through the other characters who occasionally take over the narrative in this book.
Taylor allows the reader access to the angels in this novel far more than the previous one. We discover how they feel about the war, we also learn about the different types of angels how they are all created and how they work or not together. We are also given a lot more information about the chimera, how they are surviving and what the different types have as their central characteristics. I would really love to have some kind of picture book come out like the one that Karou creates with images of the different characters and maybe some information about the different tribes and groups of both seraphim and chimera. I enjoyed being able to see how similar they were even though they themselves couldn’t see this. I guess this is meant to be reflected back onto human to show us that we are all similar even though we may look different. A simple lesson but one that we might sometimes need pointed out to us.
I have to warn readers that this book has a lot more gore than the previous one in the series and a lot less of the fairytale elements. Unfortunately, for me, this meant that I didn’t enjoy it quite so much as I much preferred the fairytale. However, the gore is in keeping with the story and shows now much Karou and Akiva’s worlds have changed after the previous book.
There are quite a few slow moments in this book in the tradition of second novels in a trilogy. But, boy, does it get going towards the end! It certainly piqued my interest, with the new countries mentioned and loads more elements that I really want to watch to find out how it all turns out. As with all sequential books, this one would make no sense if read as a stand-along, so I would suggest they are read in order.
During this book, we see the return of many familiar characters. We watch some of those from the previous book a little more closely and we have the arrival of new characters and even new countries in Eretz. To tell you more about these elements would ruin the surprise, you’re just going to have to read it for yourself.
(pub: Hodder. 517 page hardback. Price: £14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-44472-267-3)
check out website: www.hodder.co.uk